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Watch trends 2019: What the industry thinks we want

From everyone’s favourite calendar function to dials with which you can start a zoo-themed collection.

The smoky disc

It’s a travesty that the mysterious elegance of gradated dials has been overlooked for so long. But H Moser & Cie is no longer alone in championing this beautiful style, as smoky discs by other major players drift onto the scene.

  • Tag Heuer


    Tag Heuer’s returning Autavia collection is dominated by fume dials in various colours. The unusual hybrid of motor sports and aviation that gives the collection its name proves that combination can work as long as the ultimate design makes sense – which it does, thanks to the retro styling of its classic three-hand and date functions, bi-directional bezel, oversized crown and Arabic numerals. The bronze version with a green dial even lends a maritime influence. The fact that the Autavia Isograph watches use carbon-composite hairsprings just adds to their desirability.


Days of our lives

Watchmakers must be feeling generous with their time and skill of late, given how many perpetual calendars have been unveiled this year. The technically demanding complication often inspires similarly impressive extras to join the fray for some over-the-top haute horlogerie but, this year, the focus lies solely on the king of all calendars.

  • JLC


    Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin are shaving off millimetres instead of dollars. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra- Thin Perpetual Enamel uses an updated JLC 868 movement, now the JLC 868A/2, and sacrifices just over 1mm of slimness in favour of a more symmetrical dial. The watch is still worthy of its name with a 10.44mm thick case, and has a significantly longer power reserve of 70 hours compared to the previous 38.

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Tiny titans

Colossal watches and ultra-thin watches have had their moments over the past decade but attention seems to finally be turning towards smaller tickers. Their modest dimensions are a better fit (sometimes literally) for dressier occasions and there is a sense of humility that comes with not having a timepiece’s wrist presence do all the talking. Fine watchmaking isn’t always about grandstanding.

  • Baume Mercier


    Some will prefer a pared-down design to go with a trimmer case size, and Baume & Mercier delivers that simplicity with the 39mm Clifton Baumatic COSC. The “warm white”, porcelain-like dial that debuted in last year’s Baumatic models gets paired this time with red gold, while the crosshairs on the dial signify the inclusion of a COSC-certified movement.

(RELATED: [PHOTOS] 7 ultra-slim watches that make an elegant statement)


The best of times

Watchmakers are collectively dipping into nature’s bounty of inspiration this year with timepieces brought to life through vivid animal imagery. The elaborate, unusual creations on these pages are made possible only with the greatest artistic skills.

  • Graff


    Graff’s Gyrograff Endangered Species collection eschews realism for a dazzling abstract display achieved with diamond marquetry. Measuring 48mm, each of the five one-of-a-kind watches – bearing the likeness of an elephant, tiger, panda, gorilla or rhinoceros – houses the brand’s signature double-axis tourbillon, spherical moonphase and power-reserve indicator, and is cased in white gold and set with baguette diamonds.


The new black

It won’t be long now before blue dials are considered mainstream enough to stop showing up in trend lists. But until that day comes, we’ll give it to the refreshing shade for still managing to elicit excitement from a community raised on black, white and silver dials.

  • JLC


    For Jaeger-LeCoultre, the blue treatment was applied to the 100-piece limited edition Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel. The Calibre 925/2 (an update of the Calibre 925 first seen in the Master Ultra Thin Moon Phase) now has a generous power reserve of 70 hours over its predecessor’s 40, but it’s really the dial that deserves all the attention. Enamel and hand-guilloche are combined to create a result that proves the sum of fine details is truly greater than the parts.

(RELATED: Timepieces with salmon dials)


Long time coming

There are numerous alternatives to the round watch case but favour seems to be gathering around elongated shapes. It’s not hard to see why; their slender forms make excellent dress watches, and watchmakers have used these out-of-the-rectangular-box shapes to tell a little story.

  • Hermes


    For Hermes, the inspiration is clear: The Galop d’Hermes conceptualised by designer Ini Archibong was inspired by Hermes’ roots in the equestrian arts, and the saddle in particular. The specially designed Arabic numerals are not uniform but instead follow the curves and dimensions of the case. To keep its silhouette sleek, the crown is positioned at six o’clock.

(RELATED: The 5 luxury watch trends defining haute horlogerie in 2018 and 2019)